John co-coordinator Helen co-coordinator Juan co-corrdinator
Franc & Jeanette Hospitalero Team
BACKGROUNDS of Our Team:
John - Retired. Waited 50 years to walk the 500 mile Camino Frances at age 70, 2011. John has also earned the Camino Francigena Certificate ('Testimonium', France & Italy) and hiked
RT the Grand Canyon (Az), the Olympic Peninsula, forests in Central Africa and
in the Sahel.
Franc & Jeanette - Retired Fire Chief and Therapist.
F&J are trainers for the APOC Hospitaler Program.
Juan - Juan completed the 'Camino Frances' and Hospitalero training in 2017.
About us: who are we?
'We' are a chapter of the not-for-profit, 'American Pilgrims on the Camino' (APOC). We live in the greater Santa Barbara (California) area. Some of us work and some are retired. APOC and the modern Camino routes are ecumenical in spirit (though the Camino network of European Pilgrimage trails are historically linked to medieval Catholic monasteries, convents, and cathedral villages and towns). We and APOC welcome all interested persons to attend our local meetings (Re'unions) and participate in our hikes which we announce on this website. APOC headquarters also announces local chapter events in their email announcements to members.
Some of us are officially recorded Pilgrims who have hiked along one or more of the historical Camino Routes in Europe (The Way of St. James)
and have received an official, 1000 year old traditional plaque that certifies completion of the Camino.
The 'certification' plaque has two forms - the 'Compostela' for walking for a religious or spiritual reason, and the 'Certificado' for walking for non-spiritual reasons (physical challenge, backpacking hobby, etc.).
In both cases, you must walk a required distance (at least the final 100 km) of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage trail and have the required number of way-station (refugio/albergue) icons ('Sellos') stamped each night on the 'Credential' Passport that is duly verified at end of one's Camino, at the pilgrims' office in the city of Santiago, Spain. Whew! Multitasking while walking. But that's life on the Camino, as you will learn (and a good preparation for your life's Camino after Santiago!).
You must obtain the Credential/Passport (free) from an official source, authorized by the Pilgrims Office in Santiago de Compostela. APOC is the official American source of the Credential. There are other official Credential offices in Canada, UK and elsewhere. The Credential is free, so you don't have to join APOC to obtain the Credential and become registered as a Pilgrim to-be. But joining APOC enrolls you in the network of pilgrim veterans in your area and notifies you of their Gatherings and special events.
Upon showing your 'Credential' at a pilgrim hostel or accomodation (refugio/albergue) you are elegible to stay one night at very low cost, either on a donation basis ('Donativo') or generally 8-12 Euros which is a real savings since hot showers and kitchens are usually available.
APOC serves a social role to gather Pilgrims and interested persons, and we help prepare and advise future pilgrims about hiking the Camino. We also officially train and certify APOC-member Pilgrims who have Compostela's to work as service volunteers (Hospitaleros) in the 'Donativo' (donation fee) network of the centuries-old, and newer, pilgrims accomodations, the 'Hospitales'.
We can help you prepare for your Camino with information about the Camino routes, lodging, travel, what to bring, how to pack. And we conduct training hikes.
We also provide INFORMATION about books, maps, guides and even about hiking gear and where you can obtain gear.
Although we focus on the so-called 'French Route' of the 'Camino de Santiago' (the 500 mile ancient pilgrimage trek in northern Spain from the French border at St Jean to Santiago, the Cathedral city near the Atlantic coast of Spain), we encourage everyone to use and explore your historical California mission trail- go out and walk to find your inner peace and enlightenment, and perhaps by sharing our enthusiasm and stories about our Camino walks and attending our local gatherings and hikes we can help find you find 'Your WAY'.
Why not become an official member of APOC, join us in spirit, even if journeying to Spain is for now just a dream.
CONTACT us with your questions about the Camino and to make suggestions how we might improve this web site.
Buen Camino, Peregrinos!